- When you ask the hotel receptionist in German if you can fill up your waterbottle in the tap, and she says yes, then proceeds to take your waterbottle and fill it with scalding hot water from the coffee machine…thank you?
- Chatting with your colleague in German and asking what kind of guitar he plays, to which he answers that yes, his sister is a vegetarian too but she eats fish and he has been thinking about going vegetarian for some time now and blah blah blah…you soon realize he has mistaken the word guitar for vegetarian because of your mediocre accent and you now have to decide whether to correct him or to just go with it.
- Carrying a bouquet of flowers on the subway and accidentally poking your eye really hard with the wrapping. The man sitting next to you laughs and says, “Ouch!”
- Going out dancing with friends for Halloween (to a sala club, which you can’t dance) and accidentally missing the last train home, forcing you to sit in an empty bar for three hours and wait until the next one.
- Asking a colleague what her grandson will be for halloween, to which she responds that she in fact has no grandson…
- My colleagues and I took a trip to Flossenbürg, the concentration camp in Bavaria where Dietrich Bonhoeffer was imprissoned and ultimately killed. We work at Dietrich Bonhoeffer school, so at the end of our tour we held a small ceremony in his honor. We laid a wreath of flowers on his grave, sang a song set to lyrics he wrote, recited the Lord’s Prayer, and read a few words from his works. As difficult as it is to learn about this era in history, I was struck by the earnestess of the people standing next to me, and it filled me with a strange sort of hope for the future.
- Thai food with an old friend who now lives 15 minutes from me!
- Finishing the book “Exit West” by Mohsin Hamid. Tears were shed Reader, tears were shed.
- Waiting for the Straßenbahn when an acquaintance from Syria walks up. Strike up a conversation and end of having a great time. He lets you ride on his ticket so you don’t have to buy one and invites you over for dinner next week.
- German coffee.
P.s. Photo of the chapel in Flossenbürg that was built by former prisoners years after the war.